AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Diego
Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
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1) you can't expect it to match the build quality of a $1200 hoss like the 3805, it weighs like 12 lbs less and will not have the raw guts in the amp section of the 3805.... but in terms of features, flexibility, video, etc it is far ahead of the 3805. Unless you are blasting the volume to reference levels in a large dedicated theater room, you will probably be happier with the newer unit.
2) Dynamic Volume in my opinion is fantastic. Some of the worst commercials will still be annoying, even on "midnight" mode, but they won't blast you out of the room.
While most people think about Dynamic Volume being for loud, annoying commercials, the biggest benefit (for me) has been the ability to watch movies without touching the volume control. I live in a townhouse, with a medium sized living room, and can't blast at high volumes. Plus, it always annoyed me when I turned up the volume to hear dialogue and then had to rush for the remote when the explosions start before the wife yells at me to turn it down. With Dynamic Volume on "evening" mode I can watch an entire movie with my wife and NEVER touch the volume control (a miracle as far as I'm concerned), and I don't feel like I'm listening to compressed crap. On "midnight" mode, I can watch a movie late at night with the wife asleep upstairs and both of us are happy (although, being in a thin-walled place I do have to be careful with heavy bass in action movies).
The ability of the Dynamic EQ + Volume system to control dynamic swings while not sacrificing the richness/fullness of the surround field is very, very impressive. I went from a 3803 to a much "lower end" AVR 789.... but I do 99% of my listening at low to moderate volumes, and because of the Audyssey "suite" the 789 sound better then the tank-like 3803 in these situations. The 3800 model will be able to sound better at massive volumes... but I just don't utilize those resources. I wouldn't get a 2310CI to be the heart of a huge, dedicated HT room (unless you have super efficient speakers), but for the "typical" living room setup it will be fabulous.